Lenovo kills notebooks with a text message

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Lenovo kills notebooks with a text message

Research Triangle Park (NC) – You lost your notebook? You are worried about the data that might be exposed. No problem: Kill the notebook with a text message. Well, sort of.

As notebook theft is becoming an increasingly important topic in the IT world, we are now seeing innovative solution to protect users and corporations from data theft almost on a weekly basis. One of the most interesting and potentially most effective solutions was announced by Lenovo this morning.

A new feature that is expected to become available in Q1 2009 for select Thinkpad laptops will allow notebook owners to disable a notebook with a text message that is sent to a 3G-enabled system via a cellular network. The lockdown will happen immediately if a notebook is turned on or, when it is turned off, the next time the system signs on to a cellular network. To reactivate the disabled PC, a user needs to enter a pre-set passcode created during notebook startup.

Lenovo said that it worked with BIOS developer Phoenix to come up with this capability. The companies did not say what features of the notebook are exactly killed, but it seems that the hard drive of the system, which actually main contain critical data, remains active. In such a case, it would certainly be convenient to have a self-encrypting hard drive. Otherwise, Lenovo’s kill-feature may have very limited use – at least if data is the reason for a notebook theft.     
The feature will be integrated in “selected” notebooks free of charge. It will work wherever GSM and SMS services are supported, Lenovo said.

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